Georgian annual grape harvest begins tomorrow
The annual grape harvest begins tomorrow and the Georgian government has allotted 8.5 million GEL in subsidies for it this year. This decision was made at a government meeting on September 9. Aleko Tsintsadze, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, announced that the money would be apportioned from a reserves fund.
According to the details of the subsidiary program the peasants will receive an extra .15, .25 and 1 GEL per kilo of grapes, depending on its variety. For the most expensive variety of grapes, except in cases where the price is fixed, an extra 1 GEL will be provided. Such varieties include Alexandreuli and Mujuretuli. For Rkatsiteli varieties growers will receive an extra 15 tetri and for Saperavi, 25 tetri.
Alexander Japaridze, a wine-maker at the factory Tiflisi-Zini-Pogrebi stated that last year his factory bought 500 tons of grapes but this year the amount of grapes the factory is planning to buy is not decided yet; everything depends on harvest.
“We are not on the local market business; we sell our wine in Ukraine, Germany and in the Baltic countries. As for selling to other European markets, if it is going to happen it will have more long-term results. We have to make our place in the European market and then increase the amount of the wine,” said Japaridze.
The Ministry of Agriculture claims that this year the harvest will be somewhere around 130-140 thousands tons of grapes, which is less than last year. In 2007 it was 180 thousand tons.
Japaridze also commented that the political situation between Georgia and Russia for the moment doesn’t effect their wine business, as Georgian wine has not been selling in Russian markets since 2006.
Russia imposed an embargo on Georgian wine on March 27, 2006. Georgia has attributed the embargo to a political retaliation for Georgia’s close relationship with the United States and the European Union. However Russian officials claim that the reason was due to “unacceptable levels of chemicals in Georgian wine.” They also stated that Russia was protecting its consumer market from false goods.
09 September Tue 2008, 18:06:23